Friday, March 10, 2017

52 Ancestors: Vera Louise Julia Gress

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I will be following my mom’s pedigree chart to start.  In addition to writing these posts, I will be making sure everything I have on the specific individual is in both OneNote and Legacy, do any basic research needed for missing documents, and start research plans as needed.
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Photo: Vera on left, her mother Elizabeth, her husband William; scanned from my great aunt Lois’ album.

Somehow February came and went, so let’s see if we can play catch up a bit this weekend.  Vera Louise Julia Gress is my mom’s maternal grandmother.  Unbeknownst to any of her children, her birth certificate had her name as Vera Louise Gress, with Louise likely being being for either her aunt Louisa Gress or her uncle Lewis Fink (or maybe both.)  However, she was always known as Vera Julia Gress.  In fact, my mother, Julie, was named after her, and my son, Julian, then named for my mom.  We’re not sure when it changed, but her engagement announcement listing her as “Vera J.” in 1921.

Vera was born 11 January 1900 in Buffalo, Erie, New York, to Jacob and Elizabeth (Fink) Gress.  She was the 7th and last child of the couple.  She married William Whitehead 28 March 1921 in Buffalo.

Whitehead Elizabeth tombstone
William and Vera had their first child, Elizabeth, 8 November 1922, who sadly passed away 9 days later on the 17th from a cerebral hemorrhage.  They were told they would not have any more children, but had 5 more daughters.

Vera enjoyed BINGO and playing cards.  One of my favorite stories of my great grandparents is how during the Great Depression they were doing okay, so Bill would be helping people, handing money out the front door, and Vera would be doing the same out the back.

William died in 1965 and Vera later got remarried to Elmer Daniels.  Vera died 3 February 1976 from injuries sustained in a car accident.  Vera was cremated and placed next to William at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.

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